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Stones last won the day on October 8 2017

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About Stones

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  1. Stones

    Was I right to sack the builder?

    Given all you have on your plate, the best advice I think is to grit your teeth, and move on.
  2. Stones

    Water well advice needed

    @Will lindsay Welcome to the forum. Can't help with your specific questions, but agree 100% could be a fantastic feature if you are prepared to spend money it (have seen something similar in a hotel, albeit that was running water). Might save you a lot of heartache paying for a consultation with a private building inspector to determine what they would require for it to be compliant and take things from there?
  3. In the short term I'd be moving the Heras fencing out so there is just a standard verge width left, perhaps forming a site entrance of sorts. Long term I think you will need something there, planters, rocks, trees even, otherwise people will continue to use it as they already are. Any chance of a longer shot photo showing how this area fits into the lane, neighbouring property etc?
  4. Stones

    Protecting windows during a build.

    +1, you need to take the film off as soon as possible.
  5. Stones

    Paint or Replace?

    Clean, clean and clean again, remove all worktop clutter to give the impression of vast swathes of worktop, buff the sink to a shine, adjust all the doors and drawers so they are all hanging straight. Agree the floor needs done - vinyl / lino type flooring?
  6. Stones

    Planning. Slipping in the back door

    @Russell griffiths the biggest thing I sense from you is frustration, especially given your experience on the other side of the world. I've certainly experienced that myself over the course of our 6 builds, on two occasions the same planning officer contradicting himself between 2 almost identical projects. I don't want to derail your blog debating the rights and wrongs of planning officers (who just like the rest of us are not infallible and have individual quirks, views and opinions) and the planning system, needless to say I agree some reform is needed, albeit quite what that should look like...
  7. Out of interest, where was the plot you looked at? From what you describe somewhere near Cottasgarth?
  8. Hi Ed, and welcome. I'm a little further north (and a ferry ride) away from you, but can certainly relate to the weather! Hopefully I'll be able to stop by your build at some point when I'm heading south.
  9. Stones

    Planning. Slipping in the back door

    @Russell griffiths I'm curious about your self proclaimed hatred of planners. You have detailed how, as a result of a breach of planning control that went undetected, you succeeded in obtaining lawful use (I assume you are referring to a Certificate of Lawful Use of Existing Development). Having done so, you thought it would be a formality to get PP to replace what was there with a new house, but if you step back and think about it, why should it be? Replacing what was there with something that had the same footprint and visual impact I would agree, i.e. like for like, but something else which would potentially have a greater impact than the mobile home / cabin currently located there? If development would not normally be permitted in that area, presumably on the basis of a development plan approved by your elected representatives, surely the planning department/officer was only doing its/their job in ensuring that your development was not going to negatively impact upon the area, wildlife habitats etc (again, presumably part of the reason development isn't normally permitted there)? Suppose another developer bought a swathe of the land / lake area around you, managed to obtain a CLEUD for some activity which had been carried out there and proposed filling in the lakes and building houses; presumably you'd want the planning process to be as robust as possible? You may well have had to do more than the average planning application but it is precisely because development would not normally be permitted there (as evidenced by the initial response of your planning consultant) that you had to put in the spade work. There is a reason the area looks like it does and without (planning) control...
  10. Stones

    New Windows Scotland

    Another +1 for Rationel from ADW. I did get a price from Russell Timbertech and went and had a look at their showroom. Price wise they were initially the same as ADW, but ADW were prepared to negotiate whereas Russell Timbertech wouldn't budge price wise. What Russell Timbertech could do was provide a natural timber finish inside (Rationel only offered a painted finish), with the option of oak if you wanted to pay the premium. From what I saw in both showrooms the Rationel windows had a slightly better paint finish.
  11. Stones

    Newbie financing advice

    @Jenjen I've built 6 houses over the last 20 years and have financed them in both of the ways you're thinking about. I would say both have pros and cons. Stay in your current house - potentially limited in what you can borrow on existing terms (if the lender allows it at all), you may also be restricted in what potential lenders will allow in terms of a new self build mortgage i.e. looking at your total outlays and affordability - gone are the days when you could borrow 12 times your earnings (as I did at one point before it all went bang). You also have to think about what happens if you cannot sell your house or get what you hope for - this can be very stressful. Plus side is you get to live in your own comfortable home through the build. Sell up prior to building - your fortunate in that you have the cash to buy the plot, so worst case could secure that, get all your ducks in a row whilst selling your house. Once the house is away, you fund the build through the equity released and new mortgage route. Positive are you know where you are finance wise, don't have the stress of an unsold house hanging over you, and should comfortably be able to borrow given you own the plot and have a chunk of cash. Downside is you end up in temporary accommodation ranging from a static caravan to a luxury pad at £000's a month. What level of discomfort you are prepared to put up with is a decision you have to think about. Living in grotty accommodation isn't fun... Best advice I can give is think about what compromises to your current lifestyle you are willing to make, how much stress would you be comfortable with, and think carefully about how much you want to spend - do you for example really need to build a 5 bedroom 4 bathroom mansion if its just the two of you. Maximising value doesn't always mean building the biggest house you can.
  12. Stones

    Ceiling height for open-plan room

    Our main room is 9m x 5m covering the dining area and lounge. The ceiling is vaulted to a height of 4.8m. The feeling of space that a high ceiling gives is very noticeable, and in many ways preferable to a larger floor area with lower ceiling. In a previous house we had a room that was 6m x 7m which you entered by descending 4 steps. Ceiling height was 2400 but it felt very oppressive. Simply put the scale of the room didn't match the floorspace. I would advise going as high as you possibly can.
  13. Stones

    ASHP funding

    The Mitsubishi has on board metering accessed via the FTC5 controller.
  14. I cringe when I hear things like this. I remember having a conversation with a former colleague who advocated exactly what you describe. When I pointed out there was no legal basis - (no suspicion, no moving traffic offence, no RTA) he claimed it was a question of being 'confident' in just doing it. Can't say I was impressed and whenever I worked with him was not something I would entertain, but I've always wondered how many, perhaps younger less experienced officers he managed to persuade to do his bidding. It was initially then subsequently tidied up in legislation. I find it very frustrating, especially when trying to establish what is going with Brexit. I read 'The Week' which provides a reasonably balanced report of the major stories on a weekly basis (gives view from both sides) but otherwise rely on checking several sites to try and pick out relevant pieces of information.
  15. When you say backed by the Police, do they do the stopping? There will be limited powers in the legislation that the council officers are using although quite what those powers are...